HPU Poll: More Than One-Third of North Carolinians Felt Florence Effects

HIGH POINT, N.C., Oct. 10, 2018 – The most recent HPU Poll finds that more than one-third (38 percent) of North Carolinians say their families were directly affected by Hurricane Florence last month. Fifteen percent report having evacuated their homes.

Large proportions of North Carolina residents (61 percent) say they take evacuation notifications seriously and that there were enough notifications about the storm. Almost everyone surveyed (95 percent) says there were enough notifications about the storm.

More than three out of five (63 percent) say that the state itself was extremely well or very well prepared for the hurricane. And many North Carolina residents took it upon themselves to stock up on a number of items. Majorities of poll respondents say they made sure to buy water (80 percent), bread (70 percent) and toilet paper (57 percent). Fewer people surveyed say they stocked up on plywood or other materials to protect their homes (15 percent), beer or other alcoholic beverages (20 percent), eggs (39 percent), fruit (43 percent), or milk (47 percent).

“North Carolinians told us that they were stocked up on water and bread ahead of the storm,” says Brian McDonald, associate director of the HPU Poll and adjunct instructor of survey research methods. “With another storm approaching that could produce a lot of rain and possible flooding in the state, most polled seemed reassured that North Carolina provided enough notifications during Florence.”

All adults – North Carolinians Affected by Florence (October 2018)

Now I am going to ask you some questions about the recent hurricane, Florence, that hit North Carolina.

Were you or members of your family directly affected by Florence? 

Yes – 38 percent

No – 61 percent

(Don’t know/refuse) – 2 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) phone and online sample, surveyed Sept. 28-Oct. 7, 2018, n = 921 and credibility interval of +/- 4.2 percent)

All adults – Florence Evacuations (October 2018)

Did you evacuate from your home? 

Yes – 15 percent

No – 84 percent

(Don’t know/refuse) – 1 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) phone and online sample, surveyed Sept. 28-Oct. 7, 2018, n = 921 and credibility interval of +/- 4.2 percent)

All adults – North Carolinians Living on Coast (October 2018)

Would you say that you live on the North Carolina coast?

Yes – 17 percent

No – 82 percent

(Don’t know/refuse) – 1 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) phone and online sample, surveyed Sept. 28-Oct. 7, 2018, n = 921 and credibility interval of +/- 4.2 percent)

All adults – Evacuation Notifications (October 2018)

How seriously do you take evacuation notifications, would you say very seriously, somewhat seriously, not very seriously, or not at all seriously?

Very seriously – 61 percent

Somewhat seriously – 29 percent

Not very seriously – 6 percent

Not at all seriously – 3 percent

(Don’t know/refuse) – 1 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) phone and online sample, surveyed Sept. 28-Oct. 7, 2018, n = 921 and credibility interval of +/- 4.2 percent)

All adults – Number of Storm Notifications (October 2018)

Would you say there were enough notifications about the storm?

Yes – 95 percent

No – 4 percent

(Don’t know/refuse) – 1 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) phone and online sample, surveyed Sept. 28-Oct. 7, 2018, n = 921 and credibility interval of +/- 4.2 percent)

All adults – State Preparedness (October 2018)

How well do think the state was prepared for the hurricane? Would you say extremely well, very well, moderately well, slightly well, or not well prepared at all?

Extremely well – 22 percent

Very well – 41 percent

Moderately well – 26 percent

Slightly well – 5 percent

Not well at all – 3 percent

(Don’t know/refuse) – 3 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) phone and online sample, surveyed Sept. 28-Oct. 7, 2018, n = 921 and credibility interval of +/- 4.2 percent)

All adults – Items Bought Before Storm (October 2018)

Which of these items, if any, did you make sure to buy before hurricane Florence hit North Carolina?

  Yes No (Don’t know/ Refuse)
Water 80 19 1
Bread 70 28 2
Toilet Paper 57 42 2
Milk 47 51 2
Fruit 43 55 2
Eggs 39 59 2
Beer or other alcoholic beverages 20 77 2
Plywood or other materials to protect your home 15 83 2

The most recent HPU Poll was fielded by live interviewers at the High Point University Survey Research Center calling on Sept. 28-Oct. 7, 2018, and an online survey fielded at the same time. The responses from a sample of all North Carolina counties came from 921 adults interviewed online (603 respondents) as well as landline or cellular telephones (318 respondents). The Survey Research Center contracted with Survey Sampling International to acquire these samples, and fielded the online survey using its Qualtrics platform. This is a combined sample of live phone interviews and online interviews. The online sampling is from a panel of respondents, so their participation does not adhere to usual assumptions associated with random selection. Therefore, it is not appropriate to assign a classical margin of sampling error for the results. In this case, the SRC provides a credibility interval of plus or minus 4.2 percentage points to account for a traditional 95 percent confidence interval for the estimates (plus or minus 3.2 percentage points) and a design effect of 1.3 (based on the weighting). The data is weighted toward population estimates for age, gender, race, and education level based on U.S. Census numbers for North Carolina. Factors such as question wording and other methodological choices in conducting survey research can introduce additional error into the findings of opinion polls. Details from this survey are available at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/files/2018/10/61memoA.pdf.

Further results and methodological details from the most recent survey and past studies can be found at the Survey Research Center website at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/. The materials online include past press releases as well as memos summarizing the findings (including approval ratings) for each poll since 2010.

The HPU Poll reports methodological details in accordance with the standards set out by AAPOR’s Transparency Initiative, and the HPU Survey Research Center is a Charter Member of the Initiative. For more information, see http://transparency.aapor.org/index.php/transparency.

You can follow the HPU Poll on Twitter at https://twitter.com/HPUSurveyCenter.

Dr. Martin Kifer, chair and associate professor of political science, serves as the director of the HPU Poll and Brian McDonald is the associate director of the HPU Poll.

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